IN: Inspiration


Could Co2 emissions be harnessed to create a sustainable building material similar to concrete?


Concrete truly is a wonderful material that, as we all know, has been used for millennia in the building and construction industries. Its earliest recorded use dates back as far as 126AD when the Pantheon was constructed in Rome, Italy, complete with its 43.3 meter dome that still stands tall today. A simple yet vehement testament to concrete’s versatility and if applied correctly, its ability to withstand the harshest of environments.

Concrete itself hasn’t changed much over the ages. But it’s production methods may soon change, thanks to a project that explores whether Co2 emissions can be harnessed to create a sustainable building material similar to concrete. Introducing Gaurav Sant and JR DeShazo, Director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovations and the Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. These two have come up with a novel solution and process to convert Co2 gas emissions from smokestacks into a sustainable “green” building material fit for the 21st century.

Image source: Petr Kratochvil

It sounds complicated. But the process is fairly simple. Sant and DeShazo have taken lime and combined it with carbon dioxide in a closed-loop process. They have managed to capture the carbon emissions from power plant smokestacks and then used them to create a new building material. Their cleverly named Co2NCRETE has been successfully prototyped and is fabricated using 3D printers. Waste emissions are effectively upcycled in the process.

Image source: Gudino UCLA Comunications

“The fact that something valuable can be created from carbon dioxide emitted from smokestacks, a real environmental nuisance, using this technology, is amazing!” states DeShazo.

And if we are to believe this Carbon Emissions Infographic, created by ECo2GREETINGS, we should in theory have an abundance of Co2 available to transform into Co2NCRETE. An additional benefit would be that the Carbon Tax implemented by international governments could also be revisited and perhaps offset against the introduction of this new technology, thus making it a more lucrative investment for all those involved and hopefully bringing this concept from prototype to commercial fruition.

For more information on this please visit the UCLA website: UCLA - NEWSROOM

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